“Without music, life would be a mistake.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)
Music is a diverse cultural and social activity and an art form influenced by personal feelings, tastes and opinions that can enrich our heart, mind and soul throughout our lives. It can be meaningful, make you feel good or offer a moment of escape from the real world.
At Minchinhampton Academy we aspire to fully embed music in every aspect of school life and to give all our children the opportunity to adopt a lifelong love of music, achieved through the enjoyment of having a go at being real musicians. They participate in singing, listening to music, reviewing music , playing instruments, performing, improvising, composing and they develop an appreciation of musical history. This enables development of musical knowledge, a greater understanding of musical vocabulary and of the elements within the Interrelated Dimensions of Music – pulse, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, tempo, timbre, structure, texture and notation. Musical performance alongside these elements significantly support many areas of the whole school curriculum, particularly literacy, maths, the creative arts, and mindfulness. As our children enjoy being musicians they develop confidence, communication skills, thinking & creative skills and their emotional well-being can be improved.
Our children’s love for the creative world of music begins in the classroom where they are taught, in class groups, Access to the Charanga Musical School Scheme throughout the school ensures quality of teaching and continuity, whilst further performance and music development opportunities are created through the school curriculum. The children have access to a wide range of tuned and untuned instruments; ICT is used to extend and enhance musical opportunities. Our Year 2 children have class sets of recorders, whilst through our local Music Hub links with Make Music Gloucestershire, each Y3/4 class receives ten instrumental lessons, with an end of term performance to their parents.
In addition to the formal class lessons, musical activities feature widely in our school, in order to engage and develop the children as performers, develop self-confidence and feel a sense of achievement. These include class assemblies, our Parish Church Christmas and Easter services, the annual Foundation/KS1, Year 3/4, Year 5/6 productions, weekly opportunities to play their instruments before assembly, performances at the School Christmas and Summer Fayres, and our annual Musical Soiree. We have a KS1 and KS2 choir, an orchestra and recorder clubs for Y2 – Y6. The choirs make regular visits within our community, to Cecily Court and Horsfall House. Other regular trips include KS2 choir to Young Voices, Birmingham and links with Rendcomb College where children have enjoyed Orchestra Days, Body Percussion Workshops and English Touring Opera performances. Peripatetic teachers offer brass, woodwind, strings, guitar, percussion and keyboard lessons.
We aim to increase the breadth and range of musical experiences in school, and to foster links within our local community and with other schools.
A group of children, from across KS2, took part in a full day’s Resilience Song writing workshop with Ben O’Sullivan. Listen to their song ‘Be Big Bold and Brave’ which they wrote and recorded: https://soundcloud.com/the-songwriting-charity/minchinhampton-church-of-england-primary-academy-ks2-be-big-bold-and-brave
The Song of Tom Long – words by Sapphire Class, music by Rob and Dom Bradshaw, performed by Year 3/4 at the launch of A Portal Through Time.
What our pupils say:
“I like acting and singing and everyone pulling together.” Yr 6 Leaver 2020
“Playing my guitar is really fun because I get to learn loads of songs. If I request a song Michael (my teacher) will usually teach it to me. Also it’s exciting at the moment because we are turning the poems that we wrote with Mr Moss into songs.”
“I liked playing my flute in music, I have played it to Livin’ on a Prayer and To Make You Feel My Love. I have also played it in assembly. I kind of shake when I’m doing it but don’t feel scared. I feel happy when the audience claps because I have just managed to get through the whole song.”
“I am doing my Grade 3 guitar in June and am also doing orchestra and will go to play in an orchestra at Rendcomb College. We are going to play the Dr Who theme tune and some other pieces. I am quite nervous to do my Grade 3 although I think that I’ve got the hang of the pieces and now need to practise my scales and arpeggios.”
“I am also proud of how well I am doing in my music lessons. I can’t wait to play for the class. Learning the violin with all of my friends is great fun.”
“I love Music because I get to have new ideas of what to play on my piano. I play my piano when I go to my Nan’s house. I play Dance Monkey– first of all in small bits which I then put together. I am teaching myself how to do it. I especially like calm music– it makes me feel relaxed.”
“I love to sing and Music has been really fun this year. I loved learning ‘Make you feel my love’ by Adele. The tune is just so catchy and that is what got me to start loving that song. I enjoy my violin lessons and I have learning that since Year 2. I would like to play my violin in front of the class.”
“I do choir and I like the song that goes “Ding, digger, dan”. In recorders I have learnt low D better now and I know B, A, G, E and low D.”